We’ve had enough of these ludicrous luxury car sticker prices. It seems like every supercar carries a six figure price tag, leaving the fastest cars on the market completely out of reach for all but the ultra-wealthy. Seriously, if you had $250K, what would you rather buy, a massive house or a car?
It isn’t just because these cars are extremely expensive to engineer and manufacture, but because prestige always comes at a premium, a phrase the über elite love to recite when shopping for that fresh Ferrari. Fortunately, there are still quite a few cars out there that can be had for under six figures. Horsepower is getting cheaper by the year, and that means that 200 miles per hour and sub-four second zero to 60 times are more attainable than ever before.
For those of you who are looking for speed and power for less than a hundred grand, the following vehicles are for you. Naturally, there are quite a few other automobiles out there that qualify, but for the sake of time and space we’ve kept our list to the following ten contenders.
10. Lexus LC 500
With a 471 horsepower V8, Lexus’ newest grand tourer goes from zero to 60 in a smoking 4.3 seconds. When we drove one last year in Barcelona we were impressed by its razor-sharp handling and the way in which its Aisin 10-speed automatic snaps through gears. It may look like a billion bucks, but the LC 500 starts at “just” $92,975, which is reasonable considering that you’re getting one of the fastest GT cars on the planet.
9. BMW M2
BMW’s M2 features a turbocharged inline-6 that creates 365 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque, which in turn rockets drivers to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds flat. At $55,595, this pint-size Bimmer is a lot of car, and it handles just as well as it looks. Another thing critics praise the M2 for is its available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which supposedly outperforms expectations and offers some the fastest paddle-shifts on the market today.
8. Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S
The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG S comes in well under our $100,000 budget limit with a starting price of $81,775 before options. This Benz can really lay it down too, making the dash to 60 in a swift 3.9 seconds in convertible form. The hardtop makes the sprint 0.1 seconds quicker. Power comes courtesy of an AMG 5.5-liter biturbo V8 engine that spits out 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which works in tandem with a three-stage stability control system, an electronic limited-slip differential, and brake-based torque vectoring.
7. Cadillac ATS-V
Cadillac has been making a strong market push as of late, and its resurgence hasn’t gone unnoticed by car buffs. In fact, the latest generation of the company’s ATS-V has produced some rather astounding performance stats, including a zero to 60 time of 3.8 seconds. That’s a scorching number, especially when you consider that this 464 horsepower super sedan can be had for a very reasonable $60,695. While the more sinister CTS-V continues to hold the lead with 640 horsepower and almost equal amounts of torque, we feel the $25,000 price difference makes it hard to justify its 0.2 second quicker sprint to sixty.
6. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
With 505 horsepower on tap and a top speed of 191 miles per hour, Alfa Romeo’s recently released super sedan is a shining example of twin-turbo excellence in all of its uninhibited modern glory. Cranking out 443 pound-feet of torque from a 2.9-liter V6, this Italian luxury machine sports the smallest engine on today’s list, but still delivers a zero to 60 time of 3.6 seconds. All that for just $73,595 makes the Quadrifoglio a refreshingly unorthodox alternative to big V8 performance.
5. Dodge Viper
If big displacement is more your thing, the all-aluminum 8.4-liter V10 in the almost-extinct Dodge Viper delivers 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, which is still the most twist out of any naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world. The last of the Viper line specializes in loud, quick, and inexpensive fun that can reach an overall top speed of 206 miles per hour. Since the Viper starts at $84,885 and offer a zero to 60 time of 3.6 seconds, they make for an ideal contender if ferocious, inexpensive speed is your end game. Get one while you still can.
4. Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
If there’s one car that’s made waves with American speed junkies, it’s the Challenger Hellcat, the fastest variant of Dodge’s iconic performance coupe. The Hellcat’s asking price of $62,495 actually makes it a bargain, though if you want an automatic transmission, it’ll cost you about three grand more. With 707 horsepower, 645 pound-feet of torque, a top speed of 199 miles per hour, and a zero to 60 time of 3.6 seconds, this is a muscle car that redefines muscle.
3. Camaro ZL1
Starting at $62,135, the ZL1 is both the fastest Camaro Chevy builds and some serious bang for your buck. The ZL1 smashes through 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 3.4 seconds, and holsters either a 6-speed manual or a 10-speed paddle-shifting automatic. Under the hood is home to a 650-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that generates equal amounts of torque.
2. Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Lost amidst all the hullabaloo surrounding the Challenger is its more modern looking sibling, the Charger Hellcat. Equipped with the same 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, the Charger generates an equal 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. But unlike the Challenger this model is the fastest of the two, hitting a top speed of 204 miles per hour, with zero to 60 times consistently hover around 3.4 seconds. It may not have the timeless looks of its sibling, but the Charger offers similar amounts of horsepower-per-dollar at $65,945.
1. Corvette Z06
If Chevy’s Camaro ZL1 isn’t enough for you, perhaps the new Corvette Z06 will cut the mustard. The current Z06 has been blowing critics away with supercar-like stats, like it’s 3.0 second zero to 60 time. That puts it among the fastest cars in the world — period. The Z06’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 makes 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, and is mated to one insanely good manual transmission. As far as price goes, you can pick a base model up for around $83,995. Fully loaded, it remains within today’s threshold of $100,000.